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Bedford man jailed for sexual offences against children

21 Feb 2018

A man from Bedford has been jailed for two years after he attempted to groom children online.

Barry Lees, 61, of Conquest Road, Bedford, was sentenced to two years in jail on Thursday, 15 February after being found guilty of two charges of attempting to meet a child under 16 for sexual activity, and three charges of possession of indecent images of children.

Lees was arrested after instigating private conversations in an online chat room with who he believed were two teenage girls. Following an examination of his computer, he was also found to be in possession of indecent images of children.

Investigating Officer Alexandra Lazarevic said: “Inciting children to engage in sexual activity online is unacceptable, as is the exploitation of children by possessing indecent images. The viewing and sharing of such images is not a victimless crime - it causes real harm to the children concerned.

“We are pleased that Lees has received a custodial sentence for his actions and hope this sends a strong message to others who seek to sexually abuse children.”

We would strongly advise parents or guardians to monitor their children's internet activities and follow this advice: 

1) If they are using social media networks, take a look at their security settings and make sure they are set to 'Friends only'. That includes comments, posts and photos

2) Make sure the people they speak to online are ones both you and they know and trust in the real world

3) Explain to them that once a photo is online, it can be easily shared with others

4) Tell them to only post content and photos that they wouldn't mind sharing with their family 5) Teach your children about the importance of keeping their personal information private and not to share it online

6) Don't let your children use webcam with people they do not know from the real world, and supervise webcam use if necessary

7) Delete people that make you feel uncomfortable and report suspicious or criminal activity to 101

8) Set up parental controls on all their devices. Visit the NSPCC website for information on  how to do this.

To report child sexual abuse, both current and non-recent, call police on 101.

For information and support about non-recent and current abuse, visit the NSPCC website or call their helpline on 0808 800 500. 

We work closely with the  Lucy Faithfull Foundation to help tackle offences involving indecent images of children. Visit their website to find out more, or for help and support in relation to this type of crime.

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